Once again it is time for the staff here at CCHS to select the featured ghosts for our annual ghost walk. Woodlawn Cemetery is full of interesting dead people but every year we can only chose four. I’m not going to spoil you for who we’re doing this year, but I can tell you about who we’re not doing. Here’s a few highlights from this year’s list of rejects whose graves were too inconveniently placed to make the roster.
John Arnot came to Elmira in 1819 to open up a dry goods store, J. Arnot & Co. He started small, but quickly sought to expand his business interests and holdings. He eventually became a major share holder in companies involved in transportation, coal, lumber, real estate, public utilities and banking. At the time of his death in 1873 he was worth several million dollars.
Clarissa Thurston ran a ladies’ seminary on North Main Street, Elmira, which she established in 1847. She was also an accomplished writer having published a series of magazine articles mostly on religious or educational topics. Thurston was also the author of three books: Home Pleasures, Memoir of a Lady and Light From History or the Story of Fulfilled Prophecy. She was killed in 1884 when struck by a train while walking to church.
Frank Bundy was a local businessman and politician. He owned the Bundy Lamp and Light Co. which made bicycle and train lamps. What Bundy is most famous for, however, is his rather unfortunate stint as the Elmira City Chamberlain. From 1898 to 1900, Bundy embezzled over $30,000 of city funds and used it to throw parties.
Lear Green WilliamsLear Green was a slave owned by a Maryland man when she met and fell in love with William Adams, a free black man. She escaped to freedom on a steamship disguised as her soon-to-be mother-in-law’s baggage. Green spent 18 hours crammed inside a steamer trunk until they had safely completed their journey from Baltimore to Philadelphia. Afterwards, the couple headed to Elmira where they wed and settled down.